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Nine Girls - Stacy Gregg

Nine Girls

By: Stacy Gregg

Paperback | 26 March 2024

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Nine Girls is a page-turning adventure from Stacy Gregg, one of Aotearoa's most internationally successful and locally awarded writers.

An epic story woven with tapu and suspense by Pony Club Secrets and The Princess and the Foal author Stacy Gregg.

They dug a hole right there on our farm on the bank of the Mangawara and they put the box filled with gold inside it and covered it with dirt. And to keep the gold safe until they could return one of them placed a tapu on it. A tapu so that anyone who tried to touch the gold before they could come back for it would die.

Titch is determined to find the gold hidden somewhere on her family's farm. It might be tapu but that won't put her off.

Her dad has gone bankrupt, and she has had to leave her home in the city and move back with her family to smalltown Ngaruawahia, start a new school and find new friends. Could the hidden gold be the way to fix her family's money problems?

Titch, her rowdy cousins and her new friend Tania set out to find the gold. But an unexpected encounter with a creature from the nearby river sees Titch learn about her whakapapa, her own ancestor's role in the brutal Tainui wars and the dangers of messing with tapu.

A story about growing up in a time of social unrest in early 1980s New Zealand, Nine Girls is a page-turning adventure that shows what it's like to feel like an outsider in our own world.

About the Author

Stacy Gregg (Ngati Mahuta/Ngati Pukeko/Ngati Maru) grew up in Ngaruawahia, the small but culturally significant town where Nine Girls is set. Her essay about Ngaruawahia, The Maoris From The Town Side of the River won the Voyager national journalism award in 2023. Nine Girls explores similar themes to her essay in a novel for middle-grade readers, set in the tumultuous period of social upheaval in New Zealand in the late seventies and early eighties. The book is Stacy's first novel with Penguin Random House UK/NZ.

Stacy has previously published 32 middle-grade fiction novels with HarperCollins UK and remains HarperCollins NZ's third best-selling children's author of all-time after David Walliams and Dr Seuss. Her Pony Club Secrets series (totalling 13 books) sold over 1.5 million copies globally in English alone and later became the CBBC TV series Mystic which ran for three seasons. Stacy's second series Pony Club Rivals continued to define and dominate pony genre fiction before she moved into stand-alone hardbacks. Her first standalone in 2013, The Princess and the Foal, was based on the true life story of Princess Haya of Jordan and written with the blessing of HRH.

Stacy travelled to the royal palaces and stables of Jordan for research and since then has travelled extensively to research all her standalone titles, including journeys to Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Russia and Iceland. Eight times a finalist in the NZ Children's book awards, a consecutive three-time winner of the NZ Book Awards Children's Choice Award, Stacy is also the two-time winner of TV's WhatNow Children's Choice Award for middle-grade fiction. Stacy's other titles for younger readers include junior fiction series, Spellbound Ponies, the picture books In or Out and The Easter Bunny Hunt for HCUK, and the popular Mini Whinny series for Scholastic. Her screen writing credits include Mystic and the current Acorn TV series, My Life Is Murder, starring Xena Warrior Princess' Lucy Lawless.

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